A few months ago, I published this blog entry that challenged some of the traditional notions that B2B companies couldn’t, and aren’t, benefitting from social media as much as B2C companies.

Intrigued by this assumption, I posed this question to some of my LinkedIn comrades in several discussion groups (ps. I’m loving the engagements and discussions happening on LinkedIn these days…)

Here’s what I asked, and what I learned from the fantastic participants:

Just read an article that shows B2C companies leading the way for Social Media- but I’m sure there are strong examples from B2B- have any to share?

  • Emersonprocessexperts.com is doing a great job of diving into social marketing (led by Jim Cahill) especially considering their company’s industrial, more conservative environment (as reflected in “Social Marketing to the Business Customer” by Gillin/Schwartzman)
  • Cisco is doing a great job (which I already knew, but here’s a great video article by the Social Media Examiner on how Cisco is using Social Media: http://bit.ly/krHcRy including the FB Cisco Support Group for Uber User Internet Addicts http://on.fb.me/lOzD7U)
  • One person noted that Kodak is doing a great job and were among the first to embrace social media. I had no idea, so I checked out Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to check it out. Their Graphic Community on LinkedIn is pretty cool, and so is their Facebook page. There are quite a few Kodak Twitter accounts, which can be a pro and challenge, but still –they’re there.
  • I got sent a great case study of Philips’ use of LinkedIn to communicate with the medical community, which was pretty incredible.

Finally, one person commented that “the best I have seen is IBM. But the mid-sized guys (let’s say $US500MM – 1BB) are few and far between. With the economic downturn it seems creativity and experimentation were the first victims in this category – in my experience most are trying franticly to do more and faster of what they already knew how to do – direct selling for example.”  Now this, I can believe, especially with Lead Generation topping the charts as the main marketing initiative this year for most companies who don’t have the time, or money, to invest in social media as much as they’d like.

Still, according to a recent Social Media B2B survey, 86% of companies are using social media, with more than half incorporating it into their marketing strategies. The numbers keep growing, too, so I think with examples like the ones above, and the many, many more I’m sure people have to share, we’ll keep seeing improvement in how B2B companies leverage social media, albeit somewhat differently from B2C, for marketing reasons.

Add your own examples to this list- Join the conversation!